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MK5 GTI on the Cheap

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
Oh Crap, that's a Hole.

Last year I repaired some rust on the left side rear quarter panel, well repair is what I called it. I thought I removed all the rust and did a not so good paint job. Anyway several months ago the rust started popping back through. I put off the repair since baseball season was in full swing and it was damned hot.

The time has come for the repair and I am hoping for better results.

Instead of just sanding the affected area I chose to take a drill with wire wheel to get rid of the old paint and rust. It did not take long before there was a hole and I discovered there is foam behind this panel, just a fyi.

I treated the areas around the hole, back and front side of the panel, with Dupli-Color Rust Fix. Next I used Bondo to fill the hole and smooth the panel surface. Then I used Rust-Oleum self etching primer, Dupli-Color Black Magic paint and cleared it with Rust-Oleum High Performance Wheel Clear Coat. All these items I had on hand, from previous repairs, so nothing out of pocket. And of course I color sanded with 2000 grit sandpaper and polished it.

The Dupli-Color Black Magic paint matches perfect. As for using the Rust-Oleum High Performance Wheel Clear Coat, instead of Dupli-Color Clear Coat, I did not like the results of the Dupli-Color Clear Coat the last time, so I was not going to beat a dead horse. The Rust-Oleum Wheel Clear Coat worked great last time and this time as well.

This repair is so close to being perfect in the looks department and I hope the rust is gone for good.

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Cost / Maintenance ---------- $5150.19
Miles Driven ------------------ 17,347
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Cost Per Mile ---------------- $0.30
 

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vwengineer

Ready to race!
Location
Switzerland
Hey good job, one cannot even see the repair point. Yes rust is very difficult to get rid of... I did the same as you, repaired rust on the passenger door jamb, sanded down the rust, applied an acidic rust converter so that any rust left gets converted, applied a zinc protector, primer, base coat, clear coat. Guess what? 5 month later the paint is also bubbling... I don't have the time to re-do the job right now, so we will see how long it takes for the paint to chip off.

So yeah, in this kind of repair the wire brush is the only way to get rid of everything. The problem is that it's not sufficient either, the only way to get rid of it is to cut and solder a clean metal part. The bondo is unfortunately not a definitive repair since it creates humidity when drying and absorbs it, the part will rust again at some point (probably takes years) but I think without soldering it's the best job you can do. So, good job!
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
Rain Rain Everyday Rain ?

I have not looked at how much rainfall we have endured since August, but it has been a lot. Since August I have washed the GTI once and it rain the very next day, with no rain in the forecast. I have been unable to locate a valid VW parts number for the optional attachable floatation device, so instead I purchased the Monster GTI floor mats which were listed in the classified section, for $40.15, to keep the carpet dry.
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Cost / Maintenance ---------- $5190.34
Miles Driven ------------------ 18,023
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Cost Per Mile ---------------- $0.29
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
So VW denied your claim for rust warranty repair??
No.....last year VW replaced the left and right front fenders (wings) and repaired the rocker panel. I was the one that repaired this section and the repair was no good, my fault. I really do not blame VW for not repairing this section, as it really did not meet their definition for a covered repair, when I dove into the repair.
 

Das Gespenst

Go Kart Champion
Location
Glen Ellyn
That foam you found is actually between the body panel and interior panel. When I gutted the racecar I pulled all the foam out. I found it completely water logged and clearly an issue as the interior side of the body panel isnt treated to protect against water. You may want to pull you interior panels and get that foam out of there to prevent it happening again.
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
That foam you found is actually between the body panel and interior panel. When I gutted the racecar I pulled all the foam out. I found it completely water logged and clearly an issue as the interior side of the body panel isnt treated to protect against water. You may want to pull you interior panels and get that foam out of there to prevent it happening again.
Thanks for the info, I will keep that in mind if i have to go back in there. I do think is odd they placed foam in there with it`s ability to act like a sponge.
 

Das Gespenst

Go Kart Champion
Location
Glen Ellyn
Won't you get rattles by removing this foam? I have the feeling that this thing should not come in contact with water normally?
Well, mines a full built racecar so rattles are the least of my worries. But if you saw where they sat I dont believe you would. It's just sound deadening material. And yes. It acts like a sponge. If for any reason your sunroof drains clog, this is where the water ends up.
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
This past year I took the opportunity to join the grounds crew at the local minor league baseball team. It was a chance to be able to get a better insight to the game I have loved over the years. So this vastly ate into my free time and I neglected this post.
Obviously the GTI was mostly used as an everyday work car, but it did make a few long trips as well. This past year I did perform the recommended services and had to fix somethings as well. The GTI during this time made me smile, made me cuss, made bleed and once it almost made me cry.
I have no clue where I am at to reaching the goal of 10 cent a mile, so I will go over what I have done to the GTI, during our days of lockdown and then at the end, we will compare the cost to the mileage.
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
April 2019:

Time for the yearly maintenance:
Oil and filter change
Air filter and cabin filter check …. Ok
Rotate tires …… these tires are holding up well
Added water to the battery
Brake fluid … good
Coolant …. Good
A good look over under the car, everything looks great and there are zero leaks.
Purchased one of those Harbor Freight oil catch cans, for the garage. This was the first oil change using it and it makes things mess free.
When doing the oil change I always disconnect the intercooler hoses to drain the accumulated oil. This time there was very little oil compared to what I had removed the previous times.
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Liquid Moly Leichtlauf 5W-40. … 10 liters ….Napa …$64.00 … (purchased extra ,was on sale)
Mann oil filter … Napa ….$12.63
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Cost / Maintenance ---------- $5,266.97
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
April and plus, 2019

This repair, repair and the final correct repair took over 5 months.
The front right marker turn signal light went out, not a big deal, buy a bulb and all is ok.
Bought the bulb ( the guy from Napa gave me an extra bulb, thumbs up guy from Napa) and went to change it, only to discover the bulb socket was melted. The bulb socket is considered part of the headlight assembly and is not available for purchase. I attempted to repair the bulb socket, replaced the bulb and all was working well for a month and everything melted again.
The GTI MK6 uses the same bulb for its turn signal and the bulb socket is available for purchase, bought two. Just a simple mod with a dremel and wiring it and into the car. All is good for about four months and the bulb burns out and the bulb holder is melted.
The first two times this occurred I believed it was a weak spring in the bulb holder causing a bad connection between the base and the bulb, causing resistance and heat. With this new holder melting a knew my theory was incorrect. I started searching the car settings I had changed using Carista and found I had turned the marker turn signal lights (Carista calls these side lights) to 100%. I think these are supposed to be set at 30% and this is what there are set at now.
Installed the other bulb holder and bulb, all is good now, my bad.
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Genuine VW Audi H21W Turn Signal Bulb Sockets 2 pcs..... Ebay….$15.19
2) H21W bulbs …….. Ebay …… $6.98
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Cost / Maintenance ---------- $5,289.14
 

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vwengineer

Ready to race!
Location
Switzerland
I remember reading that you did a string alignment after you replaced your tie rod ends but that it wasn't successful and you had to get it done professionally.

How did you proceed? I did replace mines and did a string alignment like this:

1) put steering wheel straight
2) put a fishing string on one side
3) look for the axle size difference between rear and front, I found 12mm in total on internet (do not use this value), so I assumed if my string was 6mm further that the center cap on the rear my string was straight
4) measure the difference between front and rear of the front wheel and do some trigonometry.
5) adjust

After completing this procedure, the car would drive straight and steering wheel would be straight, but I had the feeling that the car was floating when taking turns at speed. So I tried the following:

Instead of doing each side separately, I did a rectangle around the car, so that I could find the difference in size between the front and rear axle myself.

And what I found was the following, the front axle is wider not by 12mm but by 40mm. Actually the 3 doors is different than the 5 doors apparently. So my first adjustment was completely wrong although the car was driving straight. I did it again, now the car does not have this floaty feeling anymore but it's not driving 100% straight. I think this is due to one rim not being completely flat.

What do you think about this methodology and how did you proceed?
 

doc280

Ready to race!
Location
North Carolina
I had read someone's DIY and totally bombed, so I did not save the page I was using ( Not blaming the DIY ). I will let you know, I have had the frontend apart again and actually was not off by much by eyeballing it. Yeah most people believe an alignment is just about saving the tires, but you can dramatically influence how a car handles with a tweak here and a tweak there, to the alignment.
 
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